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A critical view of the general public's awareness and physicians' opinion of the trends and potential pitfalls of genetic testing in Greece

Mai, Yuan, Koromila, Theodora, Sagia, Aggeliki, Cooper, David Neil, Vlachopoulos, Georgios, Lagoumintzis, George, Kollia, Panagoula, Poulas, Konstantinos, Stathakopoulos, Vlassios and Patrinos, George P. 2011. A critical view of the general public's awareness and physicians' opinion of the trends and potential pitfalls of genetic testing in Greece. Personalized Medicine 8 (5) , pp. 551-561. 10.2217/pme.11.48

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Aim: Progress in deciphering the functionality of the human genome sequence in the wake of technological advances in the field of genomic medicine have dramatically reduced the overall costs of genetic analysis, thereby facilitating the incorporation of genetic testing services into mainstream clinical practice. Although Greek genetic testing laboratories offer a variety of different genetic tests, relatively little is known about how either the general public or medical practitioners perceive genetic testing services. Materials & methods: We have therefore performed a nationwide survey of the views of 1717 members of the general public, divided into three age groups, from all over Greece, and residing in both large and small cities and villages, in order to acquire a better understanding of how they perceive genetic testing. We also canvassed the opinions of 496 medical practitioners with regard to genetic testing services in a separate survey that addressed similar issues. Results: Our subsequent analysis indicated that a large proportion of the general public is aware of the nature of DNA, genetic disorders and the potential benefits of genetic testing, although this proportion declines steadily with age. Furthermore, a large proportion of the interviewed individuals would be willing to undergo genetic testing even if the cost of analysis was not covered by healthcare insurance. However, a relatively small proportion of the general public has actually been advized to undergo genetic testing, either by relatives or physicians. Most physicians believe that the regulatory and legal framework that governs genetic testing services in Greece is rather weak. Interestingly, the vast majority of the general public strongly opposes direct-access genetic testing, and most would prefer referral from a physician than from a pharmacist. Conclusion: Overall, our results provide a critical evaluation of the views of the general public with regard to genetics and genetic testing services in Greece and should serve as a model for replication in other populations.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: education; general public awareness; genetic testing; healthcare; insurance cost; molecular genetics; pharmacogenomics; physicians' opinion; reimbursement
Publisher: Future Medicine
ISSN: 1741-0541
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 August 2018
Last Modified: 23 May 2020 02:56

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